For most Americans, the most common method of payment for products, gas, or virtually anything else is that of credit and debit cards. According to creditcards.com, the majority of 18 to 24 year old’s, as well as the middle-aged crowd, prefer to use credit cards as their payment method. As a result, credit card theft has had a more wide-spread occurrence. Stealing credit cards is not as easy as snatching a wallet from your pocket, however, it is as easy as swiping it through a card reader. Today, the Nerds at TechStarters are here to inform you about credit card skimmers, what they can do, and how it can hurt your business and your customers.
Devices known as credit card skimmers copy information from your credit or debit cards for thieves to steal. They hide in plain sight and can be found on an ATM or any credit card reader in stores by attaching to the devices. A fully functional ATM can potentially contain a skimming device and steal a person’s credit card information without the user’s knowledge. That being said, this credit card theft scheme can be far more devastating for the unaware business that thieves prey on to steal customer information. Ultimately, it is time to be aware and check your technology.
When searching for credit card skimmers, it is important to be as observant as possible. If you approach a credit card reader on an ATM be sure to check for possible signs of tampering, such as lose keypads, or for any differences in appearance between your ATM and the neighboring ATM. For credit card readers, check for anything that seems to be loose or different standing out from the readers, especially around the area where the card is scanned through. As of 2015, credit cards are equipped with EMV chips to prevent any attempt of thieves from stealing information. Named after the developers Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, an EMV chip is a microchip embedded into the credit or debit card that protects cardholder data by using dynamic technology to scan the data of cards.
Card skimmers are being combated with new forms of security, however, that does not stop smaller businesses or utility businesses like gas stations from being attacked by thieves. No matter if you are a customer or businessman, it is important to be aware of anything of suspicious when it comes to using your credit card.